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Barnes & Noble Inc. introduced a new Wi-Fi version of its "Nook" electronic book reader on Monday and lowered the price on its 3G-compatible Nook amid intensifying competition in the fast growing electronic-books industry.

Barnes & Noble, the No. 1 U.S. specialty bookseller by sales, priced the Wi-Fi version of Nook at $149 (U.S.) and reduced the price on its 3G-compatible Nook to $199.

The move comes as Apple Inc.'s iPad, launched in the spring, has drawn many shoppers to its e-bookstore and as Borders Group Inc gets ready to launch its own e-bookstore. The Nook also competes with Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle. Barnes & Noble launched the Nook in October.

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Barnes & Noble is set to report its fourth-quarter earnings next Monday.

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